Planet-forming disks develop surprisingly similarly

Our solar system is probably formed in the same way as most other planetary systems around us. This is according to German-Austrian-Dutch research on more than 870 planet-forming disks in the Orion cloud A. The researchers, led by the Dutchman Sierk van Terwisga, who now works at the German Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy, will publish their results on Friday. In the trade magazine Astronomy and astrophysics

Astronomers have long studied whether our solar system is similar to other planetary systems. Until now, astronomers have not known whether there is a determining factor that determines the evolution of planet-forming disks around young stars. Now it turns out that the mass of a planet-forming disk really only depends on its age. The older the disk, the less dust. “It is at least true if the star and the disk are not near harsh environments, such as hot, large stars,” said lead researcher Sierk van Terwisga (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany), “because they have we were excluded from our investigation. “

Molecular cloud
The scientists analyzed more than 870 planet-forming disks in the Orion A molecule cloud about 1,350 light-years away. It is a large, densely star-forming area. Located near the famous Orion Nebula, the cloud contains compact clusters of stars similar to those where our sun was formed. The researchers compared the dust disks in Orion A with other disks in our area.

The text continues after the image.huhthe area the researchers examined. All pluses are planet-forming disks. The blue dots are slices with more than 100 soil masses. The circle to the right includes the Orion Nebula Cluster. It contains large, hot stars that were not included in the study. (c) Van Terwisga et al./MPIA [hoge resolutie]

Parallel computers
The researchers used data from the Herschel Space Telescope and from the ALMA Observatory. Calibration or adjustment of data from ALMA dishes would normally have taken months. So the team found a way to use the parallel computers in the Dutch SURF. “Our new approach significantly improved treatment speed,” said co-author Raymond Oonk of SURF, Leiden University and ASTRON. “It took 3,000 CPU hours to prepare the data for further analysis. It would take 125 days of computing on a typical non-parallel computer. With us, it only took one day, thanks to the parallel processing.”

Influence of faint stars
In the future, scientists will see if the planet-forming disks are affected by small, faint stars that are nearby. For their study, scientists had already omitted all stars that were close to large, hot stars, but small, faint stars could also have an influence.

Scientific article
Study of Orion Disks with ALMA (SODA). I: Cloud Demographics of 873 Protoplanetary Disks. Af: SE van Terwisga (1), A. Hacar (2), EF van Dishoeck (3,4), R. Oonk (5,3,6) & S. Portegies Zwart (3) I: Astronomy & Astrophysics (2022 )) [origineel | preprint]†

(1) Max Planck Institute of Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany
(2) Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
(3) Leiden Observatory, Leiden University
(4) Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching near Munich, Germany
(5) SURF, Leiden
(6) ASTRON, Dwingeloo

Source: English press release from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Planetary disk

This artistic impression illustrates how planet-forming disks often look around young stars. They initially consist of dust and gas that fuse together into rings of dense material. Over time, the solids develop into pebbles that can eventually grow into planets. (c) MPIA [hoge resolutie]

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